Plato’s The Allegory of the Cave

Who was Plato?

Short Writing Assignment

0f2e6cacc56a1686503dc4469f117290.jpg(Yes, I am collecting it.)

If you could choose to live in a fantasy world for the rest of your life, would you choose the illusion or to remain in reality?

Length: 1 paragraph (MEAL)


Please add the vocabulary words and definitions to your notes. You may find other vocabulary words as we read the text.

  • Allegory: a story in which the characters and events are symbols that stand for ideas about human life or for a political or historical situation
  • Illusion: implies a false ascribing of reality based on what one sees or imagines
  • Rationality: the possession or utilization of reason or logic
  • Theory of Forms:   (See below)

In-Class Reading of Plato’s “Book VII” Allegory of the Cave



After Class Discussion


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn



Author: Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

Published: 1885

  • Started writing the text in 1876

Setting: 1840s



A Few of the Ever-changing Covers:


Helpful Dates to Remember:

  • 1840s: Setting of Huck Finn
    • 1840-1920: Fight for Women’s Rights
  • 1861- 1865: American Civil War
    • 1863: Emancipation Proclamation
    • 1865: 13th Amendment of the Constitution ratified (“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”)
    • 1868: 14th Amendment of the Constitution ratified (citizenship of former slaves)
  • 1865- 1877: Reconstruction
    • 1870: 15th Amendment of the Constitution ratified (African American men can vote)
    • 1870s- 1960s: Jim Crow Laws
    • 1876: Mark Twain begins writing Huck Finn
  • 1878- 1889: Gilded Age
    • 1885: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn published
  • 1914- 1919: WWI  (The Great War)
  • 1890- 1920: Progressive Era
  • 1939- 1945: WWII
  • 1964: Civil Rights Act of 1964 / End of Jim Crow Laws
  • 1965: the Voting Rights Act of 1965
  • 1968: Fair Housing Act of 1968

Huckleberry Finn and the N-Word

Should the N-word be replaced with the term “slave?”




Additional Resources:

Potential Huckleberry Finn Debate Topics


  1. Huckleberry Finn is a racist novel.
  2. The N-word should be removed from Huckleberry Finn to make it more acceptable for a modern audience.
  3. Huckleberry Finn as the narrator knows more than a fourteen-year-old could possibly know.
  4. The use of dialect in Huckleberry Finn makes the book more of an artistic achievement.
  5. The character of Huck changes during the course of the novel.
  6. The ending of Huckleberry Finn prevents the book from being a “great” classic novel.
  7. The characterization of Jim is racist.
  8. Huckleberry Finn is “the great American novel”. Hemingway’s comment is true: “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn…the best book we’ve ever had. There was nothing before. There’s been nothing as good since.”
  9. The novel of Huckleberry Finn itself contradicts his introductory note about “attempting to find a motive…a moral… [or] a plot”. (In other words, there is a motive, a moral and a plot to it)
  10. Huckleberry Finn Is an important record of American culture and history.
  11. The character of Huck has a good sense of humor.
  12. Mark Twain’s criticisms of society are still true today.
  13. Huckleberry Finn devalues the role of women.
  14. Huckleberry Finn should be eliminated from our school’s curriculum.
  15. The character of Huck is a worthy hero for a novel.
  16. The river is an important symbol in the novel and for all American literature.
  17. Huckleberry Finn is a book for children.
  18. Huck’s lies are moral.

Potential Mock Trial Topic


  1. Mr. Twain has been charged with the crime of Racism. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is has been deemed a book that is racist and inappropriate for society.


Hanan al-Shaykh


Born/ Raised: Beirut, Lebanon (1945)

  • Beirut is the capital of Lebanon
  • People from Lebanon are Lebanese
  • Languages spoken in Beirut: Arabic, French, English

Educated: Cairo, Egypt at America College for Girls

Currently Lives: London, England

Who is she?

  • journalist
  • contemporary novelist
  • playwright
  • List of her published books
    • A couple short stories from I Sweep the Sun Off Rooftops
      • “The Marriage Fair”
      • “An Unreal Life”

Al- Shaykh on what prompts her to write:

…Personally, I feel at home most when I sit and write. And at the beginning, you know, you usually concentrate on certain feelings you feel about things and then slowly, slowly, you start importing or inhabiting the soul of the characters. You can write about any character. It doesn’t have to be something you experienced or something you felt a great deal about. Like my latest novel, Only in London, one of my heroines, the character [Amira] is a prostitute, and the other one is a Lebanese man [Samir], homesexual. So in a way, I inhabited their soul and it becomes like a craft. Of course, the feelings should be always there. I wanted to use them as a vehicle, to say whatever I wanted to say about the Arab society in England.

  • Interview by Christiane Schlote for The Literary London Journal

Novelist Salman Rushdie interviews Hanan al- Shaykh regarding her passion for writing.

Works Cited:

BBC World News. “The Real Beirut, Part 1.” BBC Travel. YouTube. 28 Jan. 2011.

Beydoun, Lina. “Hanan Al Shaykh.” LEBWA. 17 May 2009,

Pen America. “Conversation: Salman Rushdie & Hanan al-Shaykh.” YouTube. 13 Aug. 2010.

Salibi, Kamal Suleiman. “Beirut.” Britannica. 7 Feb. 2012.

Schlote, Christiane. “An Interview with Hanan al-Shaykh.” Literary London: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Representation of London, Volume 1 Number 2 (September 2003). Online at Accessed on 27/11/2016



Argumentative Essays



  1. Set the context –provide general information about the main idea, explaining the situation so the reader can make sense of the topic and the claims you make and support
  2. State why the main idea is important –tell the reader why he or she should care and keep reading. Your goal is to create a compelling, clear, and convincing essay people will want to read and act upon
    • This is where you add any background information or pertinent details.
  3. State your thesis/claim –compose a sentence or two stating the position you will support with logos (sound reasoning: induction, deduction), pathos (balanced emotional appeal), and ethos (author credibility).

Body Paragraphs

  1. Strong topic sentence including your argument (reason) OR Transitional Sentence with your argument (reason)
  2. Evidence to support argument
  3. Warrant (Explanation)
  4. Counterclaim + Explanation
  5. Rebuttal to counterclaim + evidence + explanation
  6. Closing Sentence OR Transitional Sentence


  1. Begin with a starter to connect ideas in your essay (i.e.- mirroring your introduction, a quotation, etc.)
  2. Restate your thesis statement or main claim.
  3. Present 1 or 2 general statements which accurately summarize your body paragraphs.
  4. Set topic or argument in a larger context (how others are affected, cultural events, etc.)
  5. Provide a general statement of how the community will benefit from following/ accepting your claim.
  6. Establish a sense of closure.

Want a quick print version of this page? Open this handout. 


Writing Checklist


This writing checklist will help you proofread your essay while you go through the drafting process. If you feel I should edit this document, please send me an email and I will make the necessary adjustments.


Works Cited

“Welcome to the Purdue OWL.” Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Argument Paper. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2016.

Creating Outlines

Follow the steps below to create your next outline. One fact will always remain true: the more specific you are in the planning stage, the better your final product will be in the end. If you have questions, please email me prior to the due date.

Please write a full sentence outline to make it easier to construct your essay.

When you add quotations, write them in MLA format with the accompanying citation.




A. Write a lead (hook) that will captivate your audience. (Check out this TYPES OF LEADS handout for assistance)

B. Write down background information on your topic.

1. What’s the time period, setting? Is that important for the audience to know?

2. Who are the major characters?

3. What does your reader need to know about those characters prior to reading your thesis?

C. Write down any pertinent information the audience should know prior to delving into your essay.

D. Conclude this first numeral with your thesis statement.

II. FIRST BODY PARAGRAPH Subtopic Sentence  (first argument if writing an argumentative essay)

A. First piece of evidence that supports this topic.

1. Detail #1

a. More detail

(1) Even more detail

(a) Even more detail about the above

(2) More detail

b. More detail

2. Detail #2

a. More detail (Counterargument?)

b. More detail (Refutation?)

B. Second piece of evidence that supports this topic.

III. SECOND BODY PARAGRAPH Subtopic Sentence  (second argument if writing an argumentative essay)

A. First piece of evidence that supports this topic.

B. Second piece of evidence that supports this topic.

C. Third piece of evidence that supports this topic.

1. Detail #1

2. Detail #2

IV. THIRD BODY PARAGRAPH Subtopic Sentence  (third argument if writing an argumentative essay)

V. FOURTH BODY PARAGRAPH Subtopic Sentence  (fourth argument if writing an argumentative essay)



A. Begin with a starter to connect ideas in your essay (i.e.- mirroring your introduction, a quotation, etc.)

B. Restate your thesis statement or main claim.

C. Present 1 or 2 general statements which accurately summarize your body paragraphs.

D. Set topic or argument in a larger context (how others are affected, cultural events, etc.)


Provide a general statement of how the community will benefit from following/ accepting your claim.

E. Establish a sense of closure.

Reproductive Rights

Amnesty International’s Stance on Reproductive Rights


Who’s Amnesty International?

“We work to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. Currently the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization, we investigate and expose abuses, educate and mobilize the public, and help transform societies to create a safer, more just world. We received the Nobel Peace Prize for our life-saving work.” (Amnesty International 2016).

Who’s the Face of the Movement?

Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center For Reproductive Rights

What role does intersectionality play?





The Crucible

The Crucible by Arthur Miller


This page will hold countless resources that we will reference as we discuss Arthur Miller’s 1953 play, The Crucible.

Handouts/ Resources:


Background Information

Take notes in your journals as we discuss the following articles.

Which text showed a more comprehensive view of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts? Explain your answer with evidence from both texts (i.e.- the article & the video).

  • Vocabulary of Note:
    • overture=
      • Classical music= overture is played before the beginning of musical or opera. It introduces the musical themes. “Opening”
      • More general meaning= the first part or beginning of something
  • Take-aways:
    • The overture or exposition includes information we don’t get at the beginning of the play:
      • setting
      • historical context
      • playwright’s perspective on his subject
    • Miller provides historical background in the overture that compares Salem to two other, earlier colonies. Which ones?
    • What inferences can you make about Parris based on the stage directions?
    • Direct characterization vs. Indirect characterization
      • Direct= specific details about a character are stated directly
        • i.e.- stage directions
      • Indirect= readers have to infer what a character is like based on clues in the text.
        • i.e.- characters’ dialogue
        • i.e.- characters’ actions
  • Consider the following as we read:
    • How are the themes of the play relevant to contemporary American audiences?
    • How and why might the play appeal to readers and theater-goers on a global scale?


Act One:

Who is Erasmus?

Were you confused by Miller’s allusion to Erasmus (34). Check out this riveting discussion of Desiderius Erasmus’ life and works.


Harkness Discussion Act One (September 2, 2016)



The Jungle (original/uncut) by Upton Sinclair


Reading Schedule:

  • April 20/21– Pre-reading Activity (Foreword/ Introduction)
  • April 22/25– Chapters 1-2 (Read in class) HW: Chapters 3-5
  • April 26/27Group 1 Reading Playlist Presentation/ Chapters 6-7 (Read in class) HW: Chapters 8-10
  • April 28/29Group 2 Reading Playlist Presentation/Chapters 11-12 (Read in class) HW: Chapters 13-16
  • May 2/3Group 3 Reading Playlist Presentation/ Chapters 17-18 (Read in class) HW: Chapters 19-21
  • May 4/5Group 4 Reading Playlist Presentation/Chapters 22-23 (Read in class) HW: Chapters 24-27
  • May 6/9Group 5 Reading Playlist Presentation/Chapters 28-29 (Read in class) HW: Chapters 30-33
  • May 10/11Group 6 Reading Playlist Presentation/Chapters 34-36, Conclusion (Read in class)
  • May 12/13– Group 7 Reading Playlist Presentation/Socratic Circle
  • May 16/17– Charades Vocabulary Competition
  • May 18/19– Last class to work on Digital Books
  • May 20/23- Digital books are due!


  • The Jungleaudio (all 36 chapters)
    • All 36 chapters are in the playlist on YouTube
    • The speaker skips a few sections, but the audio is adequate to aid your reading of the text.
  • Highlighting legend:
    • Important details/ key facts (YELLOW)
    • Important characters
    • Important dates
    • Important places or vocabulary words
  • Key Terms:
    • muckraking
      Definition: A type of journalism, begun in the early 1900s, that seeks to disclose the corruptness of business, industry, and government.
      Context: The Jungle is an excellent example ofmuckraking
    • progressive movement
      Definition: A campaign in the late 1800s and early 1900s for economic, political, and social reform in the United States.
      Context: The economic reforms of theprogressive movementincluded increased government regulation of business and a series of tax reforms.
    • Upton Sinclair (1878-1968)
      Definition: Author of The Jungle and other books, plays, and articles, all of which focused on social injustices and aimed at improving working conditions.
      Context: Upton Sinclair’sbooks brought social injustices to light and brought him wealth and fame.

Pre-Reading Activity:

Add your responses to your class Padlet.

Period 1’s Padlet, Period 2’s Padlet, Period 3’s Padlet, Period 5’s Padlet

Part 1: 

  1. To what extent do you agree with this statement? “The United States has a history of corporations taking advantage of individuals.” If yes, what are some current examples of this? How does this phenomenon affect individuals, families, and businesses? On the other hand, many would say that United States corporations have made our high quality of life possible. How has corporate America improved the quality of life in this country?
  2. What is Darwin’s theory of “survival of the fittest”? Extend this theory to basic human nature and explain how it applies to different aspects of society.
  3. What food do you eat in an average day? Where does this food come from? Describe the journey your food makes from source to table.
  4. What was the purpose of unions in America? How has this purpose evolved? What unions have been in the news recently?
  5. What traits distinguish people of one social class from another in United States society today? Money? Job? Home? Education? Family? Ethnicity? Religion? Can you tell people of different classes apart? What advantages do some classes have over others? Why do most societies have class distinctions?
  6. What is capitalism? Do you believe it is a fair, effective system? What are the advantages and pitfalls of such a system?
  7. What is socialism? What countries have this system? Do you believe it is a fair, effective system? What are the advantages and pitfalls of such a system?

Part 2: 

  • Read the “Foreword” as a class.
  • Jigsaw reading of the “Introduction.”
    • Read your section of the “Introduction.”
    • Write down the key points in a bulleted list.
    • Present your bulleted list to the other groups.

Main Characters: In Order of Appearance

Lithuanian Pronunciation Guide: Click Here. 🙂

  • Marija Biarczynskas (ma-REE-ah ber-JIN-skas): Ona’s cousin, a 20-something orphan, but a strong woman.
  • Ona Lukoszis (OH-na luke-oh-SHY-tay): Marija’s 16-year-old cousin and Elzbieta’s step-daughter.
  • Jurgis Rudkos (YER-gis rudd-KUSS): a strong Lithuanian immigrant who comes to America looking for the American Dream.
  • Teta Elzbieta Lukoszis (tay-Ta Luke-oh-SHY-tay): Aunt Elizabeth, Ona’s stepmother, and mother of six.
  • Tamoszius Kuszlejka (tam-ohsh-YOOS kuz-lie-KA): a fiddle player who intends to marry Marija.
  • Dieda Antanas Rudkos (Day-da on-TAN-us rudd-KUSS): Grandfather Anthony, Jurgis’s father, about 60 years old.
  • Jokubas Szadwilas (YO-koo-bus jzed-VEE-lus): delicatessen store owner and Lucija’s husband.
  • Aniele Jukniene (ann-eel-AA yuk-NINE-uh): a widow with 3 children; she rents rooms in her home.
  • Jonas (YO-nus): Elzbieta’s brother.
  • Stanislovas (stah-KNEES-lo-vas): Teta Elzbieta’s 13-year-old small son.
  • Tom Cassidy: a powerful Democrat and owner of much of “underground” Packingtown.
  • Phil Connor: a foreman at Brown’s, where Ona works.
  • Jack Duane: a thief that Jurgis meets in jail.

Literature Circles:

Students will place themselves into groups of 3-4 students. They will complete all assigned projects in their literature circles.

Each literature circle will create a paper booklet (typed, printed, and bound) that includes:

NOTE: Revised directions are highlighted in orange!

  • Create a playbill or advertising poster for the mini-series adaptation of the novel. List the main characters and the actors who portray them.
  • Present a videotaped television commercial for a mini-series based on the book.
  • Choose an excerpt from a key scene in the text and present a dramatic reading to the class.
  • Create a timeline for one character. Honors Students: You will track two characters. If possible, extend it beyond the events in the novel.
  • Honors Students ONLY: Prepare and present a real or imagined soliloquy for any character. Include thoughts and feelings appropriate to that character.
  • Trace one of the Meat Packing companies in the text and research what the happened to that company. If you do not want to focus on a company in Chicago, you may choose a company from one of the other states that housed major factories. (i.e.- New York, Texas, etc). Questions to consider: Is it still around today? Did it merge with another company? Does the company currently (2016) have a good reputation?
    • Armour & Co.= Andersons
    • Swift & Co.= Smiths
    • Morris & Co.= Mortons 
  • Present a solution to one of the key issues presented in The Jungle. What is the issue? How was it mishandled in the text? How should it have been solved?
  • Make connections: What is one controversial issue our society is currently dealing with that is similar to an issue discussed in The Jungle? If you were hired to create a muckraking piece to expose that problem, how would you infiltrate the company, group, or community? What element of the problem would you focus on to make your book more appealing to readers?
  • Due: May 20/23  May 26-27, 2016. (Please include all of your group members names on the booklet.

Assign each member roles: Create a document in your Google Drive and label each section with your role and the chapter. There should be a new date and section for each group meeting. You will share your document with your group members through google drive. (i.e.- Create a shared folder where everyone in the group will place their documents for all the group members to see).

**If your group only has three (3) people, everyone should help with the research portion.

  • Summarizer (Record the basic gist of each chapter. What is the moral issue discussed by Sinclair? Include page number of important events.)
  • Illustrator (Turn each chapter into an image that can aid your group’s understanding of the key events.)
  • Vocabulary Enricher/ Word Wizard (Define the key vocabulary words in each chapter. Include page numbers)
  • Travel Tracer (Track the movements of the major characters in the book. i.e.- Where are they coming from? -Lithuania Include page numbers.)

Period 1:(Groups of 3 ONLY)

  • Group 1:Daniel & Ray
  • Group 2:Florencia, Daliannys, Valeria
  • Group 3: Lelis, Kelvin, Jalon
  • Group 4: Alexus, Kameron, Karelly
  • Group 5: Janai, Shan’Yah, Julie
  • Group 6: Ernesto & Anthony
  • Group 7: Gabriel & Kevin

Period 2:(Groups of 3-4 ONLY)

  • Group 1: Emelyn, Logan, Kayla G., Destiny
  • Group 2: Amada Gomez, Denisse, Gabrielle, Christine
  • Group 3: Victoria, Maynela, Karla, Jorge
  • Group 4: Erycah, Maya, Tarik, Absalom
  • Group 5: Ernie, Kelly, Gloria, Lissette, Janay
  • Group 6: Gerardo, Jefferson, Samuel, Daniel
  • Group 7: Kahla Campbell, Emily, Anyell, Cayla Coffey

Period 3:(Groups of 3-4 ONLY)

  • Group 1: Talhaa, Douglas, & Montse
  • Group 2: Danny, Zarlette, & Deyni
  • Group 3: Sommore, Kassandra, & Amanda
  • Group 4: Woodline, Dinorah, & Yesenia
  • Group 5: Luis, Edward, & Arnelle
  • Group 6: David, Kevin, Richard
  • Group 7: Carina, Chaez & Raven

Period 5:(Groups of 3-4 ONLY)

  • Group 1: Joshua, Shavon, Juan
  • Group 2: Roxanne, Suany, Nathan, Jose
  • Group 3: Chanta, Veronica, Nathalie, Steven
  • Group 4: Maria, Roxely, Alysen
  • Group 5: Ashanti, Devin, Bryan
  • Group 6: Erynn, Juliette, William
  • Group 7: Luis E., Luis C., Victoria, Jorge

Reading Playlists

While we read each chapter, groups will be required to put together a playlist or song collage whose lyrics represent elements of your assigned chapter by Upton Sinclair. Your group should find one song per assigned chapter that you can share with the class with an explanation how the lyrics fit the plot, characters, or theme.

Groups: Add your playlists to your class’ Padlet.

Period 1: Padlet

  • Chapters 1-5= Group 1
  • Chapters 6-10= Group 2
  • Chapters 11-15= Group 3
  • Chapters 16-20= Group 4
  • Chapters 21-25= Group 5
  • Chapters 26- 30= Group 6
  • Chapters 31-36= Group 7

Period 2:Padlet

  • Chapters 1-5= Group 1
  • Chapters 6-10= Group 2
  • Chapters 11-15= Group 3
  • Chapters 16-20= Group 4
  • Chapters 21-25= Group 5
  • Chapters 26- 30= Group 6
  • Chapters 31-36= Group 7

Period 3: Padlet

  • Chapters 1-5= Group 1
  • Chapters 6-10= Group 2
  • Chapters 11-15= Group 3
  • Chapters 16-20= Group 4
  • Chapters 21-25= Group 5
  • Chapters 26- 30= Group 6
  • Chapters 31-36= Group 7

Period 5: Padlet

  • Chapters 1-5= Group 1
  • Chapters 6-10= Group 2
  • Chapters 11-15= Group 3
  • Chapters 16-20= Group 4
  • Chapters 21-25= Group 5
  • Chapters 26- 30= Group 6
  • Chapters 31-36= Group 7

Vocabulary Review: Charades Competition

Create a charades game with key terms from the book. Write your key terms on index cards and create a decorated box to hold your index cards. In class, we will play charades in our literature circles. Each group will receive another group’s charades box. Winning teams from each will go to the playoffs. Through process of elimination, two groups will battle for the following prize: extra credit and candy.

Vocabulary Words: Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, Group 4, Group 5, Group 6, Group 7

  • cortege 
  • veselija
  • viands
  • maudlin
  • incommoding 
  • pungent 
  • rancid 
  • wizened 
  • fetid 
  • felicitous 
  • colloquy 
  • parley
  • ptomaines 
  • isinglass
  • pepsin 
  • albumen 
  • besom 
  • placard 
  • deference 
  • volubility 
  • ludicrously 
  • laissez faire 
  • caste
  • saltpetre 
  • hordes 
  • specter 
  • primeval
  • fodder 
  • alchemist 
  • respite 
  • harried 
  • contingencies 
  • redress 
  • obstinate 
  • impropriety 
  • superfluity 
  • inexorably 
  • abyss
  • penury
  • rebuffs
  • sprier 
  • rebuke
  • magnanimity 
  • obdurate 
  • ptarmigan 
  • prestidigitator 
  • menagerie
  • torpor 
  • sordid 
  • primeval 
  • specter 
  • pittance 
  • melee 
  • effaced 
  • penitential 
  • catechism 
  • ineffable 
  • ingot 
  • tractable 
  • mendicants 
  • insouciance 
  • pugilist
  • odious 
  • oligarchy 
  • notorious 
  • debauchery 
  • vicissitudes 
  • plutocrat 
  • prodigiously 
  • saturnalia 
  • contagion 
  • labyrinthine 
  • impunity 
  • verities 
  • balustrade 
  • absinthe 
  • obloquy 
  • juggernaut 
  • squalor 
  • imperious 
  • prostrate
  • fetter 
  • proletariat 
  • morasses 
  • impervious
  • recalcitrant 
  • unregenerate 
  • exhorting 
  • incendiary 
  • fusillade 
  • elucidate 
  • stygian 
  • debauched 
  • menials 
  • tomes 
  • pettifogging 
  • chicanery 
  • knave 


Socratic Circle:

Debate the morality of the meatpacking industry in the 1900’s. Students will not be presenting their own viewpoints, but the viewpoints of the characters from the book. Character roles will be assigned the class period before the Socratic Circle.